‘Power Rangers’ is Great When They’re Not Being Power Rangers

A bunch of teenagers… with attitude are drafted into protecting the Earth from an intergalactic witch named Rita Repulsa in Power Rangers, the multi-million dollar adaptation of the multi-hundred dollar television series.

I don’t have a whole lot of nostalgia for Power Rangers… I was already a teenager when the show first started airing, but I was fascinated by the concept and the corniness of the show. I have to admit, I have somewhat of a soft-spot for it and, when I say “it”, I mean the original team. I never transitioned to Neo or Ninja Force or Dragon Masters or Ninjago or Janitorial Staff or any of the other countless iterations of the show. I will also freely and gladly say that Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was bad. Very bad. But it was an adorable type of bad… the kind of bad you can’t help but like.

My point is, despite my affection for the show, I didn’t grow up watching it and I’m not a huge fan… more like someone who comes along and tickles its chin every once in a while. Therefore, I didn’t go into Power Rangers with a backpack full of rose-colored nostalgia for the entire affair.

I’ll be gosh-darned, I actually enjoyed it.

Granted, this movie is corny and really didn’t do anything for the concept by taking it seriously, but I did enjoy it quite a bit and not for the Power Rangers themselves… all fifteen minutes you actually get to see them on screen.

More on that later.

What I enjoyed about this movie is that this is an ensemble cast who, whether by coincidence or design, actually worked well together. They are a group of very talented actors and actresses who have great chemistry and who made, what could have been useless and disposable roles, and made them their own. What’s more, they are diverse without being in your face about it like so many other movies do and, they break the preconceived stereotypes that you might think they’re going to follow through with.

I actually enjoyed the Power Rangers when they weren’t being Power Rangers.

Not to say that this movie doesn’t have problems: It’s got plenty. For one thing, the dialogue is incredibly craptastic and it’s only a testament to the actor’s fore-mentioned talent that they were able to say some of these lines without sounding completely stupid.

It’s an origin story and you all know how much I love superhero origin stories (I don’t). In this case, since it’s a story we haven’t seen properly told before, I gave it a pass for that, but it did fall into the superhero origin trap of holding off on all superhero action until the final act and thus, Power Rangers becomes more along of the lines of Five Teenagers Bonding Featuring a Cameo by the Power Rangers. It’s so frustrating that these movies do that to us so much.

I did actually enjoy Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa. Yeah, it might have been an odd and over-the-top performance, but at least she was having fun with it. It was tonally different from the rest of the movie, but it was a blast to watch her. I don’t even mind the Krispie Kreme product placement because it made me laugh from the sheer audacity and silliness of it all.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Power Rangers is a great movie, but it is enjoyable even if it doesn’t actually produce Power Rangers until the last 15 minutes of the movie which is, honestly, my biggest pet peeve. I’m not sure if this movie will appeal to the old fans, I’m not sure if it will attract new ones, but I am sure that I am not sorry for sitting through it. Power Rangers is a well-shot and well-acted movie with some not-so-great dialogue and a ho-hum ending. Still, the good far outweighs the bad so you should… go go see it.

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